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What a day - feel useless

Discussion in 'Personal' started by disguise, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. My mum had already had a bit of a wobble on the phone to me yesterday, asking me if I thought she was a bad mother to which I obviously replied no. Then today, I got a text telling me she'd had to put her 18 year old cat down due to kidney failure. As soon as I could, I called her. To hear your mum crying down the phone, knowing you can not make her feel any better is terrible. I felt useless. I felt sad for the cat, who was temperamental but beautiful and part of the furniture but clearly old and frail. But I felt worse that nothing I could do or say would make mum feel better. I had to go and teach but text her later telling her I loved her lots and she did the best thing, even if it didn't currently feel that way. When I called her at the end of the day, I told her I would come up and see her (she is in Suffolk, I'm in Essex) this weekend and keep her company, take her out. She said no, that she was fine. My sisters all live nearby. Mum has been gagging for me to move nearby for ages. I feel now that I should after how useless I felt today and knowing that soon Mum will be having a hip replacement and with the two most local sisters both pregnant, I need to step up and move.
  2. What sort of age bracket are you and Mum in?
  3. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Firstly, disguise, I'm sorry to hear about the cat and that your mum is so upset.
    However, I'd think very carefully before you consider moving. What's the "am I a bad mother?" stuff about? Your mum isn't particularly elderly or frail, is she?
    The two most local sisters are pregnant, not ill or unable to keep in touch with your mum.
    And a hip replacement isn't even major surgery these days. I live on my own, had a hip replacement and managed just fine.
    If you don't look after your own well being and allow yourself to feel guilt tripped into putting your life and needs aside I don't think that's good for your mum or for you.
  4. Spanakopita

    Spanakopita New commenter

    I can't see why you feel useless. You obviously love your mother and keep in touch with her. It's not your fault her cat died. And I've just had a knee replacement and my son lives in Sydney. I wouldn't dream of expecting him to up sticks and come to live near me. I'm sure your mum is comforted to know that you love her.
  5. Thanks for the replies. I am 28, Mum is 58. The 'bad mother' thing was my Mum overreacting to something because one of pregnant sisters went for blood tests and had to stay in hospital overnight. Her and mum don't always see eye to eye and Mum had to find out via my other sister that she was in hospital, which mum took as a dig at her but in actual fact was simply my sister not having had ten seconds to call mum because it all happened so fast. I know this seems a rash decision but I was considering it anyway and couldn't move until my flat sold, which isn't happening fast. I feel a huge amount of guilt where mum is concerned all the time. I just feel bad that my sister and her kids were able to go to her house and comfort her today whereas all I could do was offer words. She (mum) said to me she'd lost her best friend today. I feel awful. The only thing making me feel better is that my (fairly elderly) cat must have picked up on my mood and immediately came for a cuddle when I got in from work. I can't imagine having to make the decision to put her down, so know how mum must have felt.
  6. I'm very homely and speak to both parents at least once pretty much every day. Most people think that's excessive, particularly prospective boyfriends.
  7. Ruthie66

    Ruthie66 New commenter

    My sister moved closer to my parents when my Dad was ill - to help look after Dad and to support Mum. However Mum has ended up doing lots of childcare as my sister is quite unwell and her husband is working away, so it hasn't really been that supportive. I live a long way away (nearly 300 miles) and I sometimes feel bad that I can't be more practically supportive to my mum but I just phone her regularly and offer support that way.
  8. seren_dipity

    seren_dipity New commenter

    At 58 your mum is still young. I'm 54 and would feel pretty insulted if my kids felt that they had to move closer to 'look after me' or even just to be closer. My own two live relatively close by (both in Glasgow) but my step daughter lives in Yorkshire and I was very touched when she jumped on a train to visit the day after I had a heart attack.
    I echo ilovesooty's comments about hip replacement. I had mine done twice in 4 months and, while some things are a bit tricky, if you're young (ie 40s/50s) it's not that big a deal and you're pretty much fully recovered in weeks rather than months (even when it goes wrong and has to be done again).
    If you're moving back home do it for yourself because you want to - not for anyone else...including your parents/sisters etc.

  9. In ordinary circumstances I would agree but I know for a fact Mum wants me 'home'. She's said as much, although doesn't press the issue and is always dropping huge hints. As for the hip replacement - she is very nervous about it. I think it's going under anaesthetic that worries her actually. She is young but (and I don't mean this disrespectfully) she is not young in mind. Her two older sisters appear much younger and more active than mum and the age gap is at least 10 years between them. I guess i just over-worry.
  10. seren_dipity

    seren_dipity New commenter

    Sounds like you "caught" that from your mum!
    That's natural but presumably she's having it done because of pain in her hip from arthritis. Once that pain is gone she'll feel great.
    You being home won't change that and you can't do anything to make the worry go away. Undergoing anaesthetic is never worry free but it's relatively rare for there to be problems.
    If this is the case think very, very carefully about what your future might be like if you move home.

  11. Your mother shouldn't feel guilty if she had to have the cat put down because of kidney failure. I've seen a beloved cat go through this and die naturally and it isn't pretty. Its basically slow poisoning to death. Best stop the torture.
  12. I agree but that doesn't make it better I guess. The vet said she could have a 24 hour drip and then a special diet but mum said no, it wasn't fair on an already elderly, fussy eater cat who hates the vet (and would have to stay at the vet for said drip). I totally agree with her decision. I just feel bad that she had to make it.
  13. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Sorry - but I think that is pressing the issue. It's pretty manipulative, imo
    I agree with seren on this one. Think very carefully about what the future may hold here
    Mine was done under local anaesthetic, which is commonplace now.

  14. seren_dipity

    seren_dipity New commenter

    lol...I forgot that both mine were done with epidural and sedation rather than general anaesthetic.
  15. I am perhaps painting this wrong then. If I stay where I am, she will support me. She does support me. But she also suggests I look for places nearer her and my sisters. Doesn't every mother want her children near her? She doesn't hound me on it or anything, just suggests. Not even frequently. Even if she didn't suggest, I'd consider it I think.
  16. Thanks all for your responses. Mum seemed better today but has admitted to her bungalow feeling 'empty' without the cat. To pick up on a couple of points, I didn't choose to move away - I moved to live with Dad and although that decision was something I was part of, I've never felt I personally made the decision. I just never moved back to Suffolk as an adult. Also, someone mentioned cutting the apron strings. I talk to my parents everyday as I have mentioned but I don't feel I am attached to any apron strings. By contrast, I am very independent. In many ways anyway.

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